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Davis v. Colvin

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

July 21, 2015

PATRICIA D. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CAROLYN COLVIN, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION, ORDER, AND RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

JOI ELIZABETH PEAKE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Patricia D. Davis ("Plaintiff") brought this action pursuant to Sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. ยงยง 405(g) and 1383(c)(3)), to obtain judicial review of a final decision of the Commissioner of Social Security denying her claim for Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income under, respectively, Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act (the "Act"). The Parties have filed cross-motions for judgment [Doc. #11; Doc. #13], and the administrative record has been certified to the Court for review.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed her applications for Disability Insurance Benefits ("DIB") and Supplemental Security Income Benefits ("SSI") on January 5, 2010, alleging a disability onset date of November 22, 2003. Her applications were denied initially and upon reconsideration. Thereafter, she requested a hearing de novo before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). On January 18, 2012, without the assistance of an attorney or other representative, Plaintiff appeared and testified at the hearing. The ALJ ultimately determined that Plaintiff was not disabled within the meaning of the Act and, on January 14, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review of the decision, thereby making the ALJ's conclusion the Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial review (Tr. at 5-12).[1]

In making his disability determination, the ALJ made the following findings later adopted by the Commissioner:

1. The claimant meets the insured status requirements of the Social Security Act through December 31, 2008.
2. The claimant has not engaged in substantial gainful activity since November 22, 2003, the alleged onset date (20 CFR 404.1571 et seq. and 416.971 et seq. ).
3. The claimant has the following severe impairments: right shoulder injury requiring acromioplasty, degenerative disk disease of the cervical spine; and a history of bronchial asthma (20 CFR 404.1520(c) and 416.920(c)).
....
4. The claimant does not have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the severity of one of the listed impairments in 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20 CFR 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526, 416.920(d), 416.925 and 416.926).
....
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, the undersigned finds that the claimant has the residual functional capacity to perform medium work as defined in 20 CFR 404.1567(c) and 416.967(c) except no overhead reaching or lifting with the right upper extremity; no more than occasional push/pull with the right (dominant) upper extremity due to pain and decreased range of motion; no exposure to excessive dust, fumes, gases, smoke, etc.

(Tr. at 32-33.)

The ALJ determined that the demands of Plaintiff's past relevant work, as described by Plaintiff, exceeded the above residual functional capacity ("RFC"). However, the ALJ then considered Plaintiff's age, education, work experience, and RFC in conjunction with the Medical-Vocational Guidelines contained in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2, and found that Plaintiff could perform other jobs that exist in significant numbers in the national economy. Accordingly, he concluded that ...


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